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WEARABLE Technology: EMAILS wrapped around the wrist???

With the advent of latest technological evolution aka wearable gadgets from top to toe, perusing for the best user experience becomes inevitable! Scre...

With the advent of latest technological evolution aka wearable gadgets from top to toe, perusing for the best user experience becomes inevitable! Screen sizes have been on a reducing spree – making it all the more difficult for marketers to achieve their goals.

This landscape shift arriving at wearable technology, mainly smart watches, goes beyond regular size combinations and shapes! This post reflects upon the need for changes in email design and copy for such a ‘twist around the wrist’ viewing environment!

The twisty thing about wearable technology is…
… that they are all generally very small devices and thus the resolutions can feel very tiny. The varied shapes and sizes of these devices poses a challenge to the digital marketers, forcing them to go beyond rectangular size combinations, as some smart watches have a round screen as well. Designing marketing emails for such a varied array of resolutions can be tricky, and we have just the divine tips for the same in what follows!

Is there really a need to optimize emails for smart watches & other wearables?

As much usability and ease these wearable pieces of technology bring to our lives, the use of its various functions is not clearly defined yet. The masses would be able to accept smart watch as a comfortable email viewing environment or not; is still debatable and something that time would only tell! Other reasons behind such skepticism are: undeveloped browsers and operating systems for wearables, very few devices having standalone native browsers, incompatible media queries, etc.

But that being said, the global wearables market is expected to grow at a compound annual rate of 35% over the next 5 years and hit 148 million units shipped in 2019; optimizing marketing emails for wearable technology viewing environment can thus not be ignored!

GO THROUGH THE FOLLOWING TABLE.. understand the specifications for various wearable devices!

Sr. No.

Name Subject Line Characters Message Characters Email Actions Supported


Apple’s iWatch

12-20 characters

25-35 characters (inbox view)

Read, Flag, Mark as Read/Unread, Delete


Samsung Gear S

30-45 characters

55-80 characters

Read, Forward, Reply, Delete, Open on Mobile


Motorola Moto 360

26-40 characters

50-75 characters

Read, Reply, Open in Phone, Archive

4 Pebble Steel 12-18 characters 35-50 characters

Only able to read email notifications

Source: Return Path

Tips to optimize MARKETING EMAILS for smart watches & other wearables!

    1. The most important content must go higher up in the email as recipients would scrutinize the value of email content in comparatively smaller character count and time duration as against all the other email viewing environments. Also most smart watches tend to truncate long messages and you definitely do not want your recipients using their ‘delete’ option! Remember, above the watch fold it is!
    2. Focus on the first few words of your email subject lines as the entire range of smart watches supports anything between 12-18 characters to 30-45 characters in a subject line and you want to play safe with the lower limits as well! It is important to frontload the subject lines with the most interesting elements in the beginning that piques interest. This will leverage the most from wearables as well.
    3. Make sure to include a pre-header summary above all the other text in the email. A pre- header summary that is not the same as your email subject line can giveaway more information in the preview itself as the notifications in most smart watches pull from the first available parts of text. This is your window to generate the reader’s interest, make the most of it!
    4. A minimalistic email design would be more ideal for smart watches as there is not enough room to showcase a lot on that small a screen. Everything placed on that screen must be visually pleasing, making design aesthetics a crucial component to email for smart watches. A little play of colors to pique interest backed by large fonts and objects alongside using white space aesthetically would do wonders to your email design!
    5. Include only the content that you think would appeal to your recipients with an email copy that shouts about the value of the content in it! The good thing about the current smart watches in the market is that they do not provide the option to ‘Mark as Spam’ as yet, make the most of it by being as relevant as you can!

Chances are that the out of trend retro text versions of emails may make a comeback with the increase in use of smart watches. That being said, ‘tis better to be safe and optimize your emails for the wearable device viewing environment and reach out to EVERYONE on that email list!

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Kevin George

Kevin is the Head of Marketing at Email Uplers, one of the fastest-growing full-service email marketing companies. He is an email enthusiast at heart and loves to pen down email marketing content. You can reach him at or connect with him on LinkedIn.



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